How to explore Hansard

What’s the difference between a Draft Transcript and a Daily Debate? To help you understand Hansard, check out this quick guide to common Hansard terms.

Our dynamic content is arranged by the sitting day on which it was spoken in the House, and appears at Read Hansard Reports

Draft transcripts of oral questions and speeches generally appear within 2 to 3 hours of being spoken. Our fully searchable online content goes back to 2003.

The general search box at the top of any page returns a list of hyperlinked results which will include Hansard texts. You can create an advanced search or refine it to display only Hansard documents.

We also have dedicated search and filter functions within our Hansard pages. To get the best from these features and for a helpful guide to Hansard’s structure and terminology check out our more detailed help below.

If you still have questions, contact the Parliamentary Information Service.  

Hansard help in more detail

Hansard can seem a bit daunting. Here are some helpful terms and a more detailed guide to help you explore Hansard on this website.

Hansard terms

  • Oral questions and answers: MPs can ask Ministers 12 oral questions in the House during question time. Supplementary questions can be asked after the main oral question has been answered. Additional or urgent questions can also be asked of members, often the chairs of select committees.

  • Debates: MPs make speeches in debates on bills and in general debates. Voting also occurs on motions or questions put during debates.

  • Speeches: Searching speeches allows you to find out what specific MPs said about specific topics.

  • Dailies: A daily is the collated report of a whole day’s events in the debating chamber, including all oral questions, speeches by members of Parliament (MPs), votes, and other business of the House.

  • Volumes: Once a certain number of daily reports are complete, Hansard groups them together into a numbered volume. This becomes the final and official version of Hansard. The hard-copy bound volume is sent to places like MPs’ offices and libraries.

  • Indexes:  Our working daily indexes are uploaded as they become available and are subject to change. Amalgamated indexes covering an entire year or parliamentary session remain permanently on the website. You can view them at Hansard Indexes.

Hansard online

On our website you can search and read Hansard from the most recent sitting day back to February 2003 (Volume 606, 47th Parliament). This online content is dynamic. It appears as it is edited and at different stages of our rolling publication process.

Content displays under the sitting day on which it was said in the House. Click + next to the day you are interested in to show the headings for what happened that day. Click + on any subheading or topic to expand it, or on the blue hyperlink to access its transcript. Filters on the left-hand side of our pages are there to help you to refine your search.

Oral questions and answers will appear on this site within 2 hours of the end of question. The first draft transcript of a speech in a debate will appear as soon as it becomes available — generally within 2 to 3 hours of being spoken.

Questions, speeches, and other items containing long passages in Te Reo Māori are not added until they have been transcribed and/ or translated.

Progress icons tell you what stage of the editing process a document has reached:

  • The pencil icon indicates a draft text which may be subject to correction; the text itself will carry a draft watermark.

  • The lined page icon indicates text has been edited but may be subject to further, minor correction.

  • The black book icon indicates final and definitive Hansard text, as in a bound volume. A pdf file of most bound volumes is also available.

Navigating Hansard

The READ and SEARCH tabs at the top of the contents list take you to different viewing, searching, and filtering options in Read Hansard Reports.

In READ view

Content is displayed by volume, and within a volume under the title of the main event to which it refers, for example, business statements, oral questions, points of order, bills, specific debates, and adjournments. You can expand any heading (+) to view its component parts. You can filter by keyword and date range in this view.

In SEARCH view

Individual questions, speeches, votes and events are displayed in date order under the name of the main speaker and the topic. You can refine your search using the filtering options in the panels on the left-hand side of the screen. We have filters for keyword and date range, but you can choose extra filter options from one of the nested drop-down menus. These include:

  • Document type — for oral questions, speeches in debates, votes on bills, or other events (like MPs being sworn in or the opening of Parliament).

  • Portfolio — includes these three sub-categories:

    – Parliament number (back to the 47th Parliament of 2002-2005)

    – MP name (current MPs and back to the 47th Parliament; selecting a specific Parliament number determines which names will appear in this list)

    – Portfolio category, an alpha-ordered list of approximately 200 subjects

Video and related documents

In read or search view clicking any blue hyperlink displays a page with the transcript for the material you have selected, if one is available, and tabs for video and related documents.

Clicking on the relevant tab lets you view PTV video of the content or links to any related documents (which may include links to a related debate, the text of the bill, or tabled documents). Links to bills are not available for draft Hansard documents, and may not be available for some older documents.

The video tab displays all available video for the sitting day of the transcript. Thumbnail images and drop-down filters are there to help you find the video segment for the specific item you want. You can refine your video search by specifying keywords or by entering filters for date, people (MPs), stage (a broad category which includes 28 terms including maiden statements, petitions, first readings, second reading, general debates) or subject.

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